When you use "It is up to~", I understand that it's usually followed by a person/people or something concerns with human. (e.g. government, state, school, etc. etc.)

Is it okay for one to use above expression followed by a common non human object(s)?

e.g. The result is up to the timing of the election.
It's up to the result of the election.
It's up to the music we listen to.
It's up to the nature of the sentence preceding.

My instinct tells me yes (by a wide margin). But some of my colleagues insist otherwise.
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For me, it's a no. "It's up to..." implies some active control over the outcome by the participant. In all your examples, I would say "It depends on..."
Helsinki usage agrees with the west of England.Emotion: smile
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Thank you guys. What you are saying makes sense and it convinced me too.

Then would you mind elaborating following sentences I have found on the internet?

It's Up to the Anti-War Movement to Restrain the Thirst for More Revenge~

It's up to it's old tricks again.

Is the expression misused on these sentences as well? Or, are these sentences completely different from my examples by nature?
Hi Sashasaski,

In the first, "the Anti-War Movement" is really referring to the PEOPLE of the anti-war movement, so it's okay.

In the second, whatever "it" is has enough of a human element to "have tricks" (act up, misbehave, etc) so it's being "personified."

By the way, it should be "its old tricks."
Thank you Barbara.
So I guess it's an issue of where you draw a line regarding whether or not enough human element is implemented.

It sounds a little bit too complicated for me to determine that and use the expression with confidence though.
As in my last example of the first set of sentences, "the nature of the sentence" is obviously determined by a person who use it. So what's human enough and what's not? Obviously I am too clueless to tell.

Well, I guess it doesn't hurt too much since I usually use "depend on" in the situations above anyway.

BTW, thanks for correcting my careless mistake.
I suppose it isn't convincing when I say "I hardly ever make that particular mistake.", is it?
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Nope, not convincing at all, because I know I make it frequently (and always roll my eyes at myself when I find it later), and my huge amount of pride couldn't stand the thought of you making it less often than I do. Emotion: stick out tongue (I was assuming you copied it correctly, and the original poster on the Internet made the mistake.)
Sashasaki, and Barbara --

I agree that in "it's up to the Anti-war movement to ....." it refers to the people in the anti-war movement, and it's "up to them" -- it's their responsibility, or their prerogative, to do whatever the rest of the sentence talks about.


I think in "It's up to its old tricks," we have a completely different meaning of "up to" ! The original discussion was about the phrase "it's up to (someone)" In that usage, the subject is a vague "it." Here, the idiom is "to be up to something" -- which means to be acting in a particular way. Usually the subject here would be a person, rather than "it," but you could be talking about a dog, or an organization, and use "it." Here are some example of this usage:

He's up to something = he has ulterior motives; he's acting suspiciously, he's planning something in secret.

My husband has been much nicer than usual -- bringing me flowers, doing the dishes -- he's up to something, but I don't know what.

He's up to his old tricks = he has reverted to earlier patterns of behavior.

The dog was sick for a while, but now he's feeling better, and he's up to his old tricks -- he chewed up all my shoes while I was at work.

For a while my computer was working fine, but now it's up to its old tricks -- it keeps deleting files for no reason. (you could also say "back to its old tricks."

Barbara, don't you agree?
Yes, totally. I had a momentary lapse!
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